Enjoy your Fourth of July celebration with these delicious low-carb recipes. Remember to use all-natural, organic ingredients whenever possible.
Grilled Watermelon Salad
Watermelon takes on a nice char on the grill. Don’t fiddle with the pieces; just flip them when it’s time.
yield: Makes 6 servings
1 large fresh basil sprig
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for brushing
3 1/2″-thick slices seedless watermelon, rind removed, each cut into 6 wedges for a total of 18 wedges
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound pea sprouts or watercress (tough stems removed; about 12 cups)
36 slices Pickled Radishes, cut into eighths
1/2 cup (4 ounces) queso fresco, crumbled
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
Ingredient Info: Queso fresco, also known as queso blanco, is sold at better supermarkets and at Latin markets. If unavailable, mild feta can be substituted.
Heat basil and 1/3 cup oil in a small skillet over medium heat until basil begins to bubble. Simmer for 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Let cool for 1 hour. Discard basil; set aside basil oil.
Build a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium. Brush grill rack with oil. Grill watermelon until lightly charred, about 2 minutes per side. Set aside.
Whisk remaining 1/2 cup oil, lime juice, and honey in a large bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add pea sprouts and toss to coat.
Place 3 pieces of grilled watermelon on each plate. Top with pea sprouts and drizzle basil oil over. Garnish with Pickled Radishes, queso fresco, and pumpkin seeds.
Chile-Rubbed Shrimp with Avocado Corn Cocktail
Here’s a shrimp cocktail with gumption, featuring chile-rubbed, grill-seared shrimp served over a colorful, chunky salsa of avocado and sweet corn. You can chill the grilled shrimp before you serve them, or enjoy the contrast of hot shrimp and cool salsa.
16 jumbo shrimp (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Avocado and Corn Salsa (recipe below)
1. Rinse the shrimp under cold running water, then blot them dry with paper towels.
2. Place the chile powder, garlic salt, coriander, oregano, cumin, and pepper in a mixing bowl and whisk to mix. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Stir in the olive oil. Let the shrimp marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
3. Cook the shrimp, following the instructions below for any of the grills, until just cooked through. When done the shrimp will turn pinkish white and will feel firm to the touch.
4. Spoon the Avocado and Corn Salsa into 4 large martini glasses or serving bowls. Drape 4 of the hot shrimp over the edge of each glass or bowl and serve at once. Or for a cold shrimp cocktail, let the cooked shrimp cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the shrimp, covered, until they are chilled before serving them with the salsa. The cooked shrimp can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
CONTACT GRILL: Preheat the grill; if your contact grill has a temperature control, preheat the grill to high. Place the drip pan under the front of the grill. When ready to cook, lightly oil the grill surface. Place the marinated shrimp on the hot grill, then close the lid. The shrimp will be done after cooking 1 to 3 minutes.
GRILL PAN: Place the grill pan on the stove and preheat it to high over medium heat. When the grill pan is hot a drop of water will skitter in the pan. When ready to cook, lightly oil the ridges of the grill pan. Place the marinated shrimp in the hot grill pan. They will be done after cooking 1 to 3 minutes per side.
BUILT-IN GRILL: Preheat the grill to high, then, if it does not have a nonstick surface, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the marinated shrimp on the hot grate. They will be done after cooking 1 to 3 minutes per side.
FREESTANDING GRILL: Preheat the grill to high; there’s no need to oil the grate. Place the marinated shrimp on the hot grill. They will be done after cooking 2 to 4 minutes per side.
Avocado and Corn Salsa
1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 ripe red tomato, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 ear sweet corn, shucked
1 scallion, both white and green parts, trimmed and finely chopped, or 3 tablespoons diced sweet onion
1 to 2 jalapeño peppers or serrano peppers, seeded and minced (for a hotter salsa, leave the seeds in)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantroCoarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
1. Place the avocado in the bottom of a nonreactive mixing bowl and gently toss it with 2 tablespoons of the lime juice. Spoon the tomato on top of the avocado.
2. Cut the kernels off the corn. The easiest way to do this is to lay the cob flat on a cutting board and remove the kernels using lengthwise strokes of a chef’s knife. Add the corn kernels to the mixing bowl. The salsa can be prepared to this stage up to 2 hours ahead. Refrigerate it, covered.
3. Just before serving, add the jalapeño(s) and cilantro to the mixing bowl and gently toss to mix. Taste for seasoning, adding more lime juice as necessary and season with salt and pepper to taste; the salsa should be highly seasoned.
Grilled Rib-Eye Steaks with Cucumber Relish
The cucumber relish gives this savory steak a clean, cool, summer kick.
1 1/2 cups diced seeded cucumber
3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeño chili, or to taste (wear rubber gloves)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
two 1-inch-thick rib-eye steaks at room temperaturefreshly ground black pepper
In a bowl combine all ingredients with salt to taste.
Season steaks with salt and generously with pepper. Grill steaks on an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals 4 to 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare meat. (Alternatively, steaks may be grilled in a hot well-seasoned ridged grill pan over moderately high heat in the same manner.)
Serve steaks with relish.
Mascerated Berries with Vanilla Cream
In this simplest of summer desserts, sour cream adds a pleasant tang to lightly sweetened vanilla whipped cream.
yield: Makes 6 servings
6 cups fresh mixed berries (scant 2 pounds), divided
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
Using a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon, mash 1 cup berries with sugar and orange juice in a large bowl until sugar begins to dissolve. Gently stir in remaining 5 cups berries; let sit at room temperature, tossing occasionally, until berries are juicy, 1–2 hours.
For vanilla cream:
Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into a medium bowl. Add chilled cream, sour cream, and sugar. Using a whisk or electric mixer, beat until soft peaks form.
DO AHEAD: Cream can be made 30 minutes ahead. Cover and chill.